I am a huge fan of J. Michael Straczynski and Gary Frankís original Supreme Power series. To this day it remains one of my most frequently reread series. Since itís cancellation I have obsessively picked up any book that involves characters from Earth 31916 (with the exception of that crazy Ultimate Power debacle and the story about the Marvel pastiches). I was disappointed when the Squadron Supreme series was cancelled abruptly with no closure, and Iíve been waiting with bated breath for anything new.
Well here we have it: a new four-part miniseries written by the unknown (to me) Kyle Higgens with art by Manuel Garcia. Does it live up to my expectations? No, not really, but that doesnít mean itís bad.The original (2003) series set the bar pretty high.
This series has the added challenge of clearing up a pretty convoluted continuity and getting the readers up to speed as to where our characters stand: Mark Milton (Hyperion) has attacked D.C. and disappeared and Colonel Ledger (Doc Spectrum) has stepped in as the hero for the public. His new role and how he feels about it are the focus of this issue. Anyone who is familiar with Ledgerís character knows that he is not really the superhero type, which is addressed early in the issue. Thereís also the problem of his power source, which seems to have a mind, and agenda, of its own. All of this makes Ledger a very interesting character, but I donít read Supreme Power books for individual characters. The real draw of these books is the ensemble cast all of whom are absent from this book. Thatís not to say Ledger is the only super powered individual portrayed. Ledger is sent on a covert mission by the President himself (who looks a lot like Obama) to assassinate a powerful terrorist leader. The similarities between this assassination and the recent assassination of Osama bin Laden are hard to deny, and it makes me wonder how long theyíve actually planning this story. It serves the plot just fine; I just thought it was an interesting inclusion.
Garcia is a terrific artist. Unfortunately, during the first read-through, the only comment I had about the art was that it wasnít Gary Frank. That is not a fair comparison to make, so I read the issue again with a more open mind. While I did find it a little inconsistent and the action sequence a bit tough to interpret, the talent is obvious. I've seen Garcia do better work, so this is further evidence that this issue may have been a bit rushed.
I plan on picking up the next issue, as the conclusion to this issue implies that weíll be seeing another member of the Squadron as well as answer why Hyperion did what he (apparently) did. My hope is that series marks a renewal of the Squadron Supreme universe, and isnít just a filler series. Either way, this was a solid beginning chapter and Iím interested to see where it goes.
What did you think of this book?
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